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Monday, April 16, 2012

March27/12: Tasting of Churton Wines (New Zealand) and Hidden Bench Winery (Ontario)

The Date and Time: Tuesday, March 27, 2012  3:30PM to 5PM

The Event: Tasting of Churton Wines (New Zealand) and Hidden Bench Winery (Ontario)

The Venue: Fine Wine Reserve

The Target Audience: wine media, sommeliers, FWR clients

The Availability/Catalogue: everything is available, either by consignment through Le Sommelier or at Vintages or the Ontario winery.

The Quote/Background: this was a tasting of sustainable (Hidden Bench) and biodynamic (Churton) wines, available through Le Sommelier in Ontario.

The Wines: Hidden bench also brought along some wines exclusive to licensees: Bistro Rose ($13.51), Bistro Riesling (~$15), Bistro Chardonnay (~$18), and Bistro Pinot Noir (~$21), mostly made from young vines, in limited lots, and available to restaurants and bars. I would rate the Rose and the Riesling, both of which I sampled, at GOOD (3 stars, 85 – 87). Globe and Earth have bought their own "Globe" labeling from Hidden Bench for similar wines from chardonnay and pinot noir grapes.


**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Churton Wines 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, $22.95

-Churton Wines 2009 Pinot Noir, $36.95 – my FAVE red

-Churton Wines 2008 The Abyss Pinot Noir, $64.95

-Hidden Bench Winery 2008 Felseck Chardonnay, $38.00 – my FAVE white

-Hidden Bench Winery 2009 Estate Chardonnay, $32.00

-Hidden Bench Winery 2009 Felseck Riesling, $28.00

-Hidden Bench Winery 2008 Terroir Cache, $35.00


***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Churton Wines 2008 Pinot Noir, $30.50

-Churton Wines 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, $22.95

-Hidden Bench Winery 2009 Estate Riesling, $24.00

-Hidden Bench Winery 2009 Roman's Block Riesling, $30.00

-Hidden Bench Winery 2009 Estate Pinot Noir, $38.00


*** GOOD -- Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Churton Wines 2011 Viognier, $36.95

Hidden Bench Winery 2009 Nuit Blanche, $40.00


The Food: breads, cheeses, pate and salumi.

The Downside: it got crowded really fast.

The Upside: the FWR tables, which weigh a tonne each, were pushed back to the wall to create more room. There was also a good chance to talk with winery owners Mandy Weaver (Churton) and Harald Thiel.

The Contact Person:

The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89.

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